Technology Reports:

The ‘Internet of Things’ & our security – Should I be worried?

They also have in common the fact that their manufacturers have invariably taken the ongoing security of these devices seriously – the use of built-in Firewalls, anti-virus packages, encrypted data and regular security patches help to minimise the likelihood of their falling foul of the multitude of security threats on the internet such as viruses, Trojans, malware etc.

But now there is a new game in town – the advent of incredibly cheap, low power microprocessors and wireless technology has allowed manufacturers to add a simple web interface to just about any type of electrical device, meaning that these devices can now become ‘connected’ to the outside world, allowing them to send and receive data and to be remotely controlled from wherever we happen to be.

TVs, cameras, thermostats, lights, appliances (do you remember the ‘internet-enable fridge’?) and utility meters can all become connected devices in our newly upgraded so-called ‘Smart Home’, but there are also many other possible uses in wearable devices, transportation, industry etc.

The fact that in theory so many different things can now be added to the structure of the internet has led to the new descriptor the ‘Internet of Things’, referring to all devices designed primarily for one specific purpose which are connected to and can communicate via the internet.

There are already a multitude of IoT devices and the growth in their numbers is simply staggering, with a recent report predicting that by 2017 there will be more IoT devices than humans, with even greater growth following on from this:

So this is all sounding great, right? The ability to remotely control pretty much anything within our house (or workplace) from wherever we are – start cooking dinner or switch on the heating when on our way home, check out who is in the house or switch lights on and off, open and close blinds etc. whilst on holiday – the connected future that we all dreamed of is nearly here.

Amidst the blaze of publicity and ‘gimics’ (the ‘Smart Fridge’, mood-sensing clothing etc.), however, there is still one very dark cloud lurking on the horizon and it goes by the name of security.

But why is this important? Just why is it that security matters?

Back to Technology Reports

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of publicity for something called the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) – sounds intriguing, but what exactly is it, and just how does it relate to us?

Almost all of us have multiple devices that have the ability to connect to the internet – computers, smart phones and our home wireless routers. Most of these devices are higher value, complex, multi-purpose tools that we use all the time and that we value greatly.

TechReport (UK)